Baseball stadium food breakdown

Baseball season is so close I can taste it. That — and the delicious hot dogs, nachos and peanuts that come with it. Let’s take a look at just how nutritious this food really is (or isn’t) and start making healthier choices. Game on!

Nachos at baseball game

Part of the thrill of attending a baseball game is the food and beer, right? Yes, of course we love the game itself, the fresh air and the environment, but the food and beer are really where it’s at. Between the infamous ballpark franks and the Cracker Jacks and peanuts being thrown at us, the options are endless. Let’s break all this food down and see which items are the healthiest and which we should be, well, avoiding.

The best…

Did you know? MLB ballparks serve almost 23 million hot dogs per season throughout the U.S., according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Luckily, hot dogs really aren’t all that bad for us. One hot dog has about 300 calories — not too shabby, but only if you can resist eating more than one. To make it a little healthier, skip the ketchup and mayo and opt for relish and chopped onions instead. Other foods that are low(er) in calories include:

  • Cracker Jack — coming in at 120 calories per half cup
  • Corn dogs — 150 calories per dog (surprisingly less than a hot dog!)
  • Beer — 150 calories per 12 ounces
  • Corn on the cob — 80 calories for the corn, 100 for the butter
  • Cotton candy — 210 calories per bag (obviously very high in sugar, though)
  • Snow cones — 120 calories per 12 ounces (though loaded with sugar)

The worst…

Did you know? MLB stadiums serve more than 20,000 beers per game on average.

We know, we know. It’s not like you attend a baseball game every day, so it really isn’t that important to watch what you eat, especially if you only attend one game per year. At the same time, though, it’s important to be aware of what you’re putting in your body at all times. You can still enjoy the game without consuming two days’ worth of calories. The worst foods include:

  • Pizza — about 500 calories per slice, depending on the size and toppings
  • Nachos — more than 1,500 calories per 12-ounce serving (yikes!)
  • Peanuts — 1,200 calories per 12-ounce bag (remember, peanuts are only healthy in moderation)
  • Popcorn — 1,500 calories per bag (more if you add butter!)
  • Hamburger — 500 calories not including cheese or toppings

As you can see, if you consume nachos, peanuts, a hot dog and two beers, you’re looking at 3,300 calories. That’s enough to sustain you for two days if you’re on a low-calorie diet. Be warned!

Healthy eating tips at a baseball game

A few tips for ensuring you make healthy choices at a baseball game include:

  • Eat before you go. Fill up on a turkey sandwich, some fruit and a granola bar. The fiber and protein will help keep you fuller longer.
  • Share with someone. Instead of ordering nachos for yourself, split them with a few friends or your kids. Though they are delicious, no one needs an entire plate to themselves.
  • Set a food budget. The food’s expensive, so setting a budget in advance can save you some calories (and money).
  • Limit yourself to two beverages. Whether you prefer soda or beer, try not to have more than two.

Tell us

What are your tips for eating healthy at baseball games? Share in the comments below!

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